“Anonymous” starts off a pretty catchy CD, where there are middle-of-the-way guitar lines with Jimmy Eat World and “Sing the Silence”-era AFI style vocals. Sleep Comes Down is actually not afraid to let the bassist take the spotlight, in that there are audible bass lines that sound not unlike the legendary Geddy Lee’s. While some of the guitar lines do not stray much from one style, one level of distortion, Sleep Comes Down conquers those problems to make a compelling record nonetheless. While their website and e-mail address belie a certain sense of their funding situation, Sleep Comes Down’s music in no means is weak. It is as if they recorded at the most state-of-the-art studio, and were able to have complete authority over their music.
The chunky, amplified bass comes back with a vengeance on “Broken Promises”. Another track which falls into the cracks of generality, instead of trying to strike out on new ground. Sure, the song may be catchy and easily sung to, but nothing in the song itself will really make the musicians give respect, even grudgingly. Imagine Brand New without the killer breakdown, a less-electric All-American Rejects, and you have Sleep Comes Down. “Angels’ Eyes” is obviously the single of the CD, with all sorts of guitar lines and other random sounds rapidly being whipped into a frenzy that threatens to consume the rest of the disc. Sleep Comes Down has the definite plus of actually allowing the bass player to shine, and a check plus for making an innocuous type of music for people to sing along to, but a check minus for originality.
Where “Angels’ Eyes” was the single of the disc, “I Said” is definitely the sleeper hit. Strong vocals mesh perfectly with crackling guitars and a good tempo. There are momentary relapses into the typical Sleep Comes Down-sound, but by and large, the song should be alongside the rest of the nu-punk revolution singles. Don’t get me wrong, I whole-heartedly believe that Sleep Comes Down has talent, but that they are not currently working up to their potential. I hear slivers of utterly infectious pop-punk/ “emo” in their work, but most of their meat and potatoes – the guitar is buried under a bland distortion pedal. Here’s looking to their next album.
Sleep Comes Down – Wax Romantic / 2003 Uprising Records / 10 Tracks / http://www.sleepcomesdown.com / http://www.uprisingrecords.com / Released 12 August 2003 / Reviewed 21 October 2003